454 CMR 30.02 - Definitions

Certificate of Registration. A document issued by the director to a professional employer organization (PEO) indicating that said PEO has submitted a completed initial or renewal application for registration, with a surety bond and registration fee and the PEOs application for registration has been accepted and approved by the director.

Client or Client Company. A person who enters into a professional employer agreement with a PEO.

Covered Employee. An individual whose employment is subject to a professional employer agreement.

Director. The director of the Department of Labor Standards.

Employment Agency. Any person who conducts in whole or in part an agency for the purpose of procuring or attempting to procure permanent or temporary help or employment or engagements, or for the registration of persons seeking such help, employment or engagement, or for giving information as to where and of whom such help, employment or engagement may be procured, where a fee is exacted or attempted to be collected for such service; provided however, Employment Agency shall not include a firm none of whose fees or charges are paid either directly or indirectly by any applicant for employment, unless such firm is engaged in providing domestic employees, nor shall such definition apply to any person conducting a business which consists of employing individuals directly for the purpose of furnishing part time or temporary help to others or to any person conducting a business which consists solely of providing employers or prospective employers, by electronic means, biographical information, background and experience of applicants for temporary employment, help or engagement.

PEO Group. Two or more PEOs that are majority owned or commonly controlled by the same entity, parent or controlling person.

PEO Relationship. A co-employment relationship, where all employer rights, duties and obligations such as payroll, health care, benefits, workers compensation, unemployment assistance, or tax reporting, are allocated between a PEO and a client pursuant to a professional employer agreement. Neither a client nor a PEO may delegate rights, duties or responsibilities to the other unless the delegation is provided for in a written professional employer agreement and covered employees are informed about the delegation. The client shall be entitled to enforce any right and is required to perform any obligation to employees not specifically allocated to a PEO in a PEO Agreement. The client retains the exclusive right to direct and control the covered employees as is necessary to conduct the client's business.

Person. Any individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association, or any other form of legally recognized entity.

Professional Employer Agreement. A written contract by and between a client and a professional employer organization that establishes the PEO relationship, identifies covered employees and allocates employer rights, responsibilities and obligations between the client and the PEO with respect to the covered employees.

Professional Employer Organization or PEO. Any person engaged in the business of providing professional employer services who is subject to registration and regulation pursuant to M.G.L. c. 149, §§ 192 through 203, regardless of the use or lack of use of the commonly used terms such as "professional employer organization", "PEO", "staff leasing company", "registered staff leasing company", "employee leasing company", "administrative employer" or other name. Where the employer does not otherwise hold itself out as a PEO, the following three situations shall not, in and of themselves, be sufficient to require PEO registration:

(a) sharing employees with a commonly owned company within the meaning of the 1986 IRC, §§ 414(b) and 414(c);

(b) providing legitimate independent contractor services as governed by M.G.L. c. 149, § 148B; or

(c) providing employment agency or staffing agency services.

Professional Employer Services. Any services, management tasks, or obligations imposed by law or undertaken voluntarily by an employer that are allocated to a PEO in a professional employer agreement. In a PEO relationship, professional employer services may include, but are not limited to, employee benefits, payroll, tax obligations, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, risk/safety management, training or development.

Registrant. A PEO registered pursuant to M.G.L. c. 149, § 196.

Staffing Agency. An individual, company, corporation or partnership that procures or provides temporary or part-time employment to a person who then works under the supervision or direction of a work-site employer.

Wages. Any and all forms of remuneration for employment.


454 CMR 30.02
Adopted by Mass Register Issue 1389, eff. 4/19/2019.

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